Each day leading up to Iowa State’s season opener against South Dakota State, Cyclone Fanatic will check another day off the calendar with a memorable statistic, player or game as part of our Countdown to Kickoff presented by Tailgate Clothing.

Iowa State has had a lot of talented walk-ons in its football history and one of the next potential candidates will wear No. 29 for the Cyclones this fall. Redshirt freshman linebacker Rory Walling was named the program’s defensive scout team player of the year in 2017.

The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Des Moines native was a two-time all-state selection during his standout prep at East High. He led the team in tackles each of his last three high school seasons and led all of Class 4A in rushing as a senior with 1,662 yards.

Walling registered back-to-back 90-plus tackle seasons during his last two years of high school and recorded more than 25 tackles for loss. He was also a standout in the pool, holding four school records in swimming.

It is unlikely that Walling will see the field as a linebacker in 2018 with the wealth of talent in front of him, but don’t be surprised to see No. 29 making plays on the Iowa State special teams units.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.